Day At The Track
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Harness racing breeder Senena Esty beamed with pride after the 2-year-old pacing colt Air Raid--who she bred and raised--captured his Ohio Sires Stakes, leg one division on Monday, July 4 at Scioto Downs. Senena was almost speechless in the Scioto winner's circle, but was quick to give the gigantic son of The Panderosa a well-deserved pat for his 1:57 victorious effort. The bay colt had triumphed in the fourth of 16 OSS divisions for freshman pacing and trotting colts and geldings on a balmy and oft-times drizzling afternoon. Each division carried a purse of $40,000. Owned by Alan Keith of Pataskala, Ohio and Joe Sbrocco of Brecksville, Ohio, Air Raid moved boldly from the back to the front of the field of nine youngsters in late stretch to score his first career win for driver Chris Page and trainer Mike Roth. "This colt showed a ton of class from day one and he was always my baby," Senena explained. "His family is just so strong and there was something special about him from the time he was a foal. "When he was a yearling and the trainers would come to our farm (Spring Haven Farm, Utica, OH) to look at the babies, he was one that I always brought out for them to see. He was always very friendly and very smart, and Mike (trainer Roth) obviously saw the potential in him that I did.   "He also had one of the best yearling videos that I ever saw," Senena continued. "He had a great, sweeping stride and when I saw the video and the way his hooves peaked and the length of his stride, I just didn't see any way that he wasn't going to be a top individual. If you saw him moving through the field you just couldn't take your eyes off of him.   Senena's Spring Haven Farm sold Air Raid for $39,000 at the 2015 Ohio Selected Yearling Sale. The speedy youngster is the ninth of ten foals out of the Artiscape mare Aromatic and has half-siblings in: Jet Airway (by Jereme's Jet) p,2, 1:50.2m; p,3, 1:50.4s (a 12-race winner of $399,470); the mare Angel Scent (by Western Ideal) p,2, 1:51.2s; p,3,1:50.4s (a five-race winner of $208,343); and the mare Sixth Sense (by Four Starzzz Shark) p,3, 1:55.1f (a 29-race winner of $94,478).   Another sensational performance was turned in by the Foreclosure N colt Drunk On Your Love, who paced to a 1:54.3 victory in his pari-mutuel debut for trainer Bill Dailey. The precocious bay colt had been purchased by his current quartet of owners on June 6 of this year. Richard Lombardo of Solon, OH; Carl and Melanie Atley of Xenia, OH; and Josh Green of Milford, DE ponied up $70,000 for Drunk On Your Love from Pennsylvania-based trainer Tony Dinges.   "Tony (Dinges) and I are friends and I trust what he tells me about a horse," said co-owner Josh Green. "Bill Dailey had called me and asked me to take a look at the colt to see what I thought of him, so I did and I really liked him. Tony praised this colt highly but he races mainly out east and didn't want to do all the shipping back and forth to race him in the Ohio Sires Stakes, which is the only series he's eligible to race in this year in Ohio. But Tony thought so much of him and I liked him immediately, so we bought him right after his first qualifier at Tioga Downs on June 3. It looks like he's really something special."   After that 1:58.2 winning qualifier Drunk On Your Love shipped to Bill Dailey's barn at the Urbana, OH fairgrounds. The colt then scored a winning 1:58.2 qualifier at Scioto on June 13 and followed that up with June 27 qualifying victory in an impressive 1:55.4 for his new connections. The colt, who was reined by Danny Noble in his pari-mutuel debut, led at every pole, timed in :28, :58.2, and 1:26.4, with a :27.4 final panel brush.   The stallion McArdle, who stands at Kevin Greenfield and Brad Wallace's Hickory Lane Farm in Findlay, Ohio, sired seven of the 11 Ohio Sires Stakes 2-year-old pacing winners, from his first crop of Ohio-bred youngsters, including: Ohio Larry (1:55.1); Barnabas (1:56); My Superman (1:55.3); Mcthriller (1:55.2); Stanley K (1:56.1); Mcraven (1:53.2); and Scotch Mcewan (1:55.2).   As well, the stallions Dejarmbro and Triumphant Caviar each had a pair of first leg Ohio Sires Stakes freshman winners on Monday, while the stallion Full Count had a single winner (Full Surge, 1:59.4).   Dejarmbro's victorious progeny included Just Plain DJ (2:01.1) and Speed Lane (1:59.1), while Triumphant Caviar was represented by winners Fraser Ridge (1:59) and Buckeye Boss (1:59).   by Kimberly Rinker

The Ohio stakes season kicked into high gear at Miami Valley Raceway on Friday night (April 29) as Queen Ann M (Chris Page) captured the $35,000 championship leg of the James K. Hackett Memorial for Buckeye-bred harness racing sophomore pacing fillies. The daughter of Big Bad John, who earned over $100,000 as a freshman, scored gate-to-wire in 1:54.1 for owner Alan Keith and trainer Mike Roth. In just her second seasonal start, Queen Ann M held off fast-closing She Gone (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) by a head, while favored My Tweed Heart (Josh Sutton) was a game third, beaten one-half length, following a first-over journey. Eight of the nine Hackett filly finalists finished within four lengths of each other, an indication that the summer-long Ohio Sires Stakes series in this division could be a donnybrook from start to finish. The first leg of the OSS for 3-year-old fillies, both pacers and trotters, will be hosted by Miami Valley next Friday (May 6) in multiple $40,000 divisions. Kerfuffle Cookie (Chris Page) established a new sophomore trotting filly track record when she blew past a field of older trotters to score a 1:57.1 victory in a $10,000 conditioned trot. The Chip Chip Hooray lass, co-owned by trainer Chris Beaver with Synerco Ventures Inc., will be among the favorites in the squaregaiter splits next Friday. A $20,000 Open Fillies & Mares Pace was also contested with a 1:52.1 photo finish as the result. Favored American Girl (Ronnie Wrenn Jr.) notched her sixth win in 13 starts since the calendar turned to 2016. The 7-year-old Art's Chip mare proved a scant neck better than Igottafeelinfran (Kayne Kauffman) with Addy's Way (Dan Noble) not far behind in third. Darla Gaskin and Stanley Rosenblatt share ownership of the winner, who is conditioned by Tyler George. The Saturday (April 30) card at Miami Valley features the $35,000 championship of the James K. Hackett Memorial for Ohio-sired 3-year-old colts and a $20,000 Open I Pace. Post time is 6:05 p.m. Gregg Keidel

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